On 27 October 2009, Official Report, column 10WS, I announced a new search for sites capable of supporting 1,500 place prisons that would focus on those areas of greatest strategic need, specifically London, the north-west, North Wales, and West Yorkshire.
No decision has yet been made about where these new prisons will be built. We hope to have a final shortlist of potential sites ready for publication by the summer. Before the publication of this shortlist, there will be a consultation with local Members of Parliament and planning authorities to achieve the most open and transparent process possible. A full public consultation will be conducted before any planning application for a prison is put in.